Rhubarb Collins – give the old Tom Collins a twist with Homemade Rhubarb Gin, Homemade Rhubarb Syrup and Rhubarb Juice! You can’t miss the rhubarb in this Rhubarb Collins, I’m tellin’ ya!
This is a cocktail I promised some readers last summer! I am a firm believer of better late than never (when it suits me!), so here you go, guys!
So this Rhubarb Collins is really a Rhubarb Tom Collins or a Rhubarb Gin Tom Collins. Or Rhubarb Gin Cocktail! Whatever we call it, if you’re a gin lover, you’ll love it!
There is no getting away from the fact that this is a rhubarb cocktail. The rhubarb takes centre stage here with its tartness that’s beautifully tempered with the syrup, and the rhubarb’s occasional sweet inclinations. All this on a herby base of whatever gin you have in the first place, whether you made your own, or are using a shop bought rhubarb gin.
Never made your own rhubarb gin? No time like the present!
What is a Tom Collins?
Tom Collins is a classic gin cocktail with touches of sweet from the sugar syrup and sour from the lemon juice. It’s topped with carbonated water (club soda) and served in a Collins glass, those tall and thin glasses used for many cocktails. You can read more about the Tom Collins and its history, here, in Difford’s Guide.
When I first made this Rhubarb Collins with homemade rhubarb gin, I did a straight swap with the gin, keeping all else equal. But halfway through the
glass jug, I remembered the rhubarb margarita (image below) from last year; one of my favourite margarita creations to date!
In that margarita recipe, I replaced the simple sugar syrup with some rhubarb syrup, and oh man, the margarita sure thanked me for it!
So the very next time I made this Rhubarb Collins, I did the same. I used rhubarb syrup instead of simple syrup.
And I went one step further. I replaced the lemon juice with rhubarb juice. After all, rhubarb is sour, and I personally think it fits in here very, very well. Much better than lemon juice would have.
Call me a rule breaker!
Incidentally, here in the UK, forced rhubarb starts appearing on our shelves sometime in January. By the time March rolls around, the prices start dropping, given the supply. It’s a great thing, really, as we don’t have to wait for summer to enjoy rhubarb.
Rhubarb Collins Recipe
So let’s take a look at what goes into LinsFood’s Rhubarb Collins, shall we?
- Rhubarb Gin
- Rhubarb syrup
- Rhubarb juice
- Soda water (fizzy)/club soda
And ice cubes, of course.
I know, I know. You have to make the rhubarb syrup. But don’t you make the simple syrup too? You don’t?! You know it’s only sugar and water, don’t you? It’ll keep in the fridge or out, quite happily for a long time. So save some pennies and make your own. Added bonus – no unnecessary additives.
Rhubarb Syrup for Rhubarb Collins
If you are only making 1 or 2 servings, and don’t use up all the syrup, save the rest for another day.
Increase the sugar and you have a “proper” rhubarb syrup that you can use as a cordial (above), like rose syrup, both very common practices in the Middle East. My kids love it. Make the cordial as mentioned above or drench your favourite cake with it. Click on the image above for that recipe.
If you are planning to make a huge amount for guests, get the juicer out. If you’re only planning to make a couple of glasses, it’s not worth the bother.
The best thing to do for small amounts, is place the rhubarb in a small chopper with a teaspoon or 2 of water and chop it all up. Then strain and squeeze every last drop of the juice out. Of course, feel free to get your juicer out, if you want; mine is big and bulky, so I don’t bother. And I hate cleaning it.
Let’s go have a drink!
More Cocktails on LinsFood
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Rhubarb Pink Collins (a Rhubarb Gin Cocktail)
- 60 ml rhubarb gin
- 30 ml rhubarb juice
- 30 ml rhubarb syrup
- soda water to top up
- 3-4 ice cubes
- mint leaves
Rhubarb Syrup (makes about 3/4 of a cup)
- 100 g white sugar
- 125 ml water
- 3 large stalks of rhubarb
Rhubarb Juice (makes 1 portion)
- ½ rhubarb stalk
- ½ tsp water
- Mix the gin, juice and syrup in a glass. Or be cool and use a cocktail shaker!
- Add ice to the glass. if using a shaker, pour the mix over the ice in the glass.
- Top with soda water and garnish with mint.
- Cut up the rhubarb stalks into about 5cm/2″ pieces.
- Place everything into a small saucepan and bring to boil. Then simmer for 10 minutes, by which time, the rhubarb would be very soft and pulpy.
- Strain the syrup into a clean jug, pushing down the rhubarb to extract as much of the flavour as possible. For a clearer syrup, don’t squash down, just strain the liquid through.
- Leave to cool. Use what you need and keep the rest somewhere cool. A fridge will do too, but the syrup will thicken considerably.
- If using a juicer, just juice the stalk.
- If using a chopper, cut up the stalk into 3 pieces and blitz in the chopper.
- Strain, squeezing out all the liquid.